A PLANNED park and ride scheme, which would have seen two-way bus lanes and segregated cycle ways, may now only include tweaks to existing bus routes and no new cycle lanes.

And the “park” aspect of the park and ride is also surrounded by uncertainty.

The Bradford South Park and Ride proposal has gone through numerous changes since it was first proposed several years ago.

At a meeting of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s Transport Committee on Friday, members were given an update on the scheme, and heard that spiralling costs and issues in finding a site for the car park meant that the plans were now hugely watered down.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: An artist's impression of how the Manchester Road scheme could have lookedAn artist's impression of how the Manchester Road scheme could have looked

Although in the planning stages for years, the South Bradford Park and Ride picked up steam when it was announced as one of four schemes to get funding under the Government’s Transforming Cities Fund.

The park and ride would have a share of £20m. Initial plans were for the car park and bus station to be built on a field next to Odsal Stadium – with access being from Rooley Park.

Commuters would then be transported to the city centre by a new bus fleet that would run on new dedicated bus lanes in the middle of Manchester Road.

A segregated cycle lane would be installed on either side of the road.

This summer, it was announced that spiralling costs of all four Transforming Cities Fund schemes meant Bradford Council and the Combined Authority were going to focus on the two city centre schemes – pedestrianisation of Hall Ings and other city centre streets, and the development of a new gateway to Bradford Interchange.

This meant the other two – the park and ride and a new cycle route from the city centre to Thornton, would be scaled back.

The park and ride would be split into stages, with the first stage only including the public transport and walking/cycling improvements to Manchester Road.

The cost of this phase will now be £12.1m, with the rest of the £20m moved to cover rising costs of the city centre schemes.

The 750 space car park and bus hub would not happen until phase 2 – when more funding could be identified.

A report to the Transport Committee detailed further changes to the scheme.

It said the original car park site had been dismissed after surveys on the site “revealed significant issues which rendered the remediation of the site financially unviable.”

The site of the vacant Richard Dunn centre was then chosen, but after the former leisure centre was listed earlier this year, plans once again had to go back to the drawing board.

Bradford Council has now appealed the building’s listing which, if successful, could lead to the building’s demolition.

The report added: “Given the issues with the building’s listing and the funding strategy it is proposed that the parking facility will be delivered in a later separate phase and is subject to additional funding.”

It goes on to say the two way bus lanes have also been dropped, and the new cycle lanes will be replaced by improvements to existing cycle lanes between Odsal and the city centre.

The report adds: “Following a review of scheme budgets and a cost/benefits analysis undertaken through development of the outline business case the proposed expressway will now not be a two-way expressway.

“The new proposal is to deliver a Targeted Bus Priority Measures Scheme, which will ‘fill in the gaps’ in existing bus priority at key pinch points along Manchester Road and deliver comparable benefits for buses, as an expressway, at a reduced cost.

“As the proposed works are less intrusive and disruptive, they can be delivered by the deadline for Capital of Culture 2025.

“The alternative does not incorporate the segregated cycleway between the city centre and the park and ride facility but will instead enhance existing cycling and walking infrastructure in the South Bradford area between Odsal and the city centre.

“These enhancements will be LTN 1/20 compliant and deliver comparable benefits to the fully segregated route along the main road.”

At the meeting, Fiona Limb, Transforming Cities Implementation Lead, told members: “Manchester Road already has bus priority measures, and the goal is to enhance that and plug the gaps.”

She acknowledged that shifting around the funding meant the “ambitions” for the park and ride could not yet be met, but added: “A number of further funding options for the second phase are being explored.”